Lex Horan's blog | Pesticide Action Network
Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Lex Horan's blog

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Buzz from the Minnesota capitol

As the dust settles on Minnesota’s 2017 legislative session, the push for new pollinator protective policies has mostly wrapped up for the year. The outcome? In a year when many, many issues we care about saw major rollbacks, we managed to win a few small victories for pollinators — and hold back the worst proposals that would’ve gutted our state’s pesticide laws.

But legislative leaders were remarkably unwilling to look for solutions to the pesticide and pollinator problem, and there is much work still to do.

Lex Horan
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A fighting chance for Minnesota bees

As Scott Pruitt takes over as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, it's clearer than ever that our federal decisionmakers won't be stepping up to protect communities — or our food system — from pesticides anytime soon. It's that much more important therefore for state and local leaders to do their part. Here in Minnesota, decisionmakers are beginning some important steps to protect pollinators from pesticides, and we're fighting to make those changes powerful models for the rest of the country.

Lex Horan
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Thank you, water protectors!

For months, all eyes have been on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s treaty lands, where the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was charted to go under the Missouri River — undermining the sovereignty of the tribe and threatening the drinking water of 18 million people.

On Sunday, the water protectors at Standing Rock won a major victory: the Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit to drill under the Missouri River.

Lex Horan
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Farm to family, McDonald's can do better

Families across the country are worried about McDonald’s, for more reasons than one. Because McDonald’s is such a huge player in our food system, the decisions the company makes — from marketing, to sourcing, to wages — have a ripple effect. This year, families who are affected by McDonald’s practices are speaking up together as part of a Toxic Taters week of action. The core message? Families deserve better.

Lex Horan
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Way to bee, Minnesota!

Last Friday, a small crowd gathered in the agriculture building at the Minnesota State Fair. Beekeepers, entomologists, reporters, farmers and pollinator advocates circled around a small podium, waiting for Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson and Governor Mark Dayton to speak. The crowd wasn't disappointed. In a short press conference, Frederickson and Gov. Dayton announced new rules to restrict the use of bee-harming pesticides — and make the state a national leader in protecting pollinators. 

Lex Horan
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Minnesota pollinators, potatoes & pesticides

Long before legislators filed back to the Minnesota Capitol this spring, political analysts were predicting that not much progress would be made in this year’s legislative session. With split control of the legislature and a short eleven weeks to get their work done, folks across the political spectrum anticipated gridlock. So as the dust settles after the end of session this week, how did things shake out for food and pesticide policy here in Minnesota?

No surprise, the session had its share of ups and downs overall.

Lex Horan
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A tale of corporate capture in Minnesota

What do you call it when the nation’s largest potato company, with strong ties to the pesticide industry, digs in its deep pockets to dodge accountability for its impacts on local communities? Here at PAN we call it “corporate capture” — the outsize influence that pesticide companies and other corporate powerholders in our food system have over the agencies that are meant to regulate them.

Lex Horan
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Turning up the heat on McDonald's

Last Tuesday at lunchtime, I stood on the sidewalk outside a McDonald’s in St. Paul, facing the busy traffic on University Avenue with a colorful sign that said “Stop the Drift.” I was with a group of other supporters of the Toxic Taters Coalition: students, parents and community members who made time in their day to stand in solidarity with rural communities combatting pesticide drift.

Lex Horan

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